Florida right-hander Elizabeth Hightower threw a seven-pitch, one-two-three bottom of the seventh inning Friday night in Tuscaloosa to cap off the junior’s 10th complete game this season.
After falling to No. 23 UCF for the second time in the past month, No. 5 Florida knocked off No. 3 Alabama 2-0 in a pitcher’s duel.
Hightower hurled her sixth shutout, which matches Tennessee pitcher Ashley Rogers for the most in the SEC. Hightower allowed two walks and a trio of singles through the first three frames, but she eased her way into cruise control across the final four innings and yielded only one baserunner.
The Gators scored their lone pair of runs off Alabama right-hander Montana Fouts — who also went the distance — with two outs in the top of the second inning. Shortstop Sarah Longley drove in designated player Kendyl Lindaman and catcher Julia Cottrill on a single into center field.
Only four different Gators managed a hit off Fouts and they went just 6-26 (.231) from the plate — a severe decline from their .298 overall batting average this year.
The win temporarily bumps Florida (11-2) ahead of Alabama (11-5) in the conference standings. Both teams trail only No. 10 Arkansas (14-2), who picked up a series-opening road win against No. 20 Georgia Friday.
No. 5 Florida: 2 / 6 / 0
No. 3 Alabama: 0 / 3 / 0
Win: Elizabeth Hightower (15-2)
Loss: Montana Fouts (13-3)
Individual Stats (season totals)
Hightower: 7 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 4 K (1.22 ERA)
- Adams: 0-3, BB (.409 BA)
- Lindsey: 2-4, 2B (.366 BA)
- Echols: 0-2, 2 BB (.359 BA)
- Lindaman: 0-3, 1 R, 1 BB (.317 BA)
- Cottrill: 2-3, 1 R, 1 2B (.297 BA)
- Goddard: 1-2 (.233 BA)
- A. Goelz: 0-2, 1 BB (.258 BA)
- Longley: 1-3, 2 RBIs (.157 BA)
- Hoover: 0-2 (.271 BA)
Huge Series Ahead
The Gators will look to clinch their third consecutive SEC road series Saturday at 1 p.m. on ESPN2.